I promised a couple of reviews this evening, and once I post this one, I will have delivered on that promise. No one better say I never follow through-I do on rare occasions. I finished a couple of sample pouches of this tea back around the middle of May, though an exact date eludes me. I’m a big fan of Nepalese teas in general, and for the most part, I have adored the Nepalese oolongs I have tried. How did I feel about this one? Well, I loved it too.
Naturally, I gongfued this tea. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of hay, herbs, and straw alongside subtler scents of Muscatel, caramel and fresh flowers. The rinse brought out clearly defined aromas of amaryllis, dandelion, rose, burdock, and roasted almond. The first infusion then introduced a definite scent of wintergreen oil along with scents of malt and violet. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered smooth notes of rose, dandelion, violet, and Muscatel chased by notes of roasted almond, straw, hay, burdock, wintergreen oil, caramel, and malt. Subsequent infusions saw the nose retain a good deal of its floral, herbal, and fruity characteristics. I definitely caught a touch of marigold in there. New notes of butter, anise, nutmeg, apricot, menthol, wood, marigold, lemon, and minerals emerged in the mouth along with a slight toastiness. The last infusions retained notes of minerals, cream, lemon, and roasted almond as well as some accents of menthol, malt, caramel, and wintergreen oil.
A powerful, intensely aromatic, and unbelievably flavorful oolong, this ended up being one of the most interesting and unique teas I have tried in months. What-Cha does an exceptional job of sourcing Nepalese teas and this one was yet another winner. Unfortunately, it has been out of stock for some time, but should it ever return, I will be making a point of purchasing more.
Flavors: Almond, Anise, Apricot, Butter, Caramel, Dandelion, Floral, Hay, Herbaceous, Lemon, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Muscatel, Nutmeg, Rose, Straw, Toast, Vegetal, Violet, Wood